Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Love Triangle

I love DC.  But I'm also enamored with Vienna, Austria.  (I've only been living in Austria for eight months whereas I lived in DC for 5.5 years.  I don't want to rush things.)  When I lived in the district -- I also lived in Arlington for the first 18 months of my time in the DC area -- I took up residence in Van Ness and Cleveland Park, both located in Northwest and mere minutes from Rock Creek Park (RCP).  Most people that descend into RCP run and cycle on the paved trail adjacent to the road bisecting the park -- perhaps they are unaware of the extensive trail network or they just don't care to use it? -- whereas if I ran anywhere near RCP, I invariably ran part of my route on some bona fide trail in the park.  The trail system in RCP is so extensive and includes so many branches that both short jaunts and longer runs are easily accommodated.  Sadly, as my days in DC started to dwindle, the reality of not living up the road from RCP really started to set in.  This bittersweet feeling, however, didn't last long when I considered -- really considered -- the life, the experiences, and the trail running (in some of the most beautiful country on earth) waiting for me overseas.  Below are a few pictures of my sultry DC mistress followed by a few of the mistress whose company, also, I cannot resist.  

The closest access point to RCP from our apartment in Cleveland Park.
Trail heading into RCP
The Valley Trail traverses a significant portion of RCP.  This sign is near the Maryland border.
Heading up a ridge.
The wooded area surrounding Vienna -- the "Vienna Woods" -- however, are not to be outdone:
The trail heading up toward Kahlenberg.  No snow at this elevation...
...Although just a bit higher, a dusting of snow awaits.
There are several small vineyards in the Vienna Woods.  This is one.  Although foggy, you can make out a few office buildings in the distance.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Not to be confused...

with the man who really embodies gangly and half-naked.  When I created the predecessor to this blog (ganglyhalfnakedrunnerguy that then changed to ganglypastyendurance -- neither of which still exist) , I wasn't yet aware of the running exploits of the gifted Anton Krupicka -- a runner as talented as they come and a helluva writer, too -- but had I been, I may have re-considered my running blog name and identity.  Anton runs shirtless so much of the time that it has become, effectively, his trademark.  And given what seems to be his somewhat moderate caloric intake (read his FAQs), his gangliness is practically a foregone conclusion.  But be that as it may, my blog is what it is, my running accomplishments are what they are (a very generous use of the term there), and whatever half-naked gangliness I possess -- a fraction of Anton's -- it is nevertheless inspired by his running philosophy and love of the trails.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Resurrection

I last updated this blog a little over eight months ago.  I intended to update this blog several times during that time, but alas, a few things took precedence:  moving to Vienna, Austria with my wife, starting another blog to chronicle our life overseas, and, well, just adjusting to living abroad.  Now that we've been in Vienna for about eight months now, I figure it's about time to resurrect this blog, especially since I have at least one ultra -- and perhaps another -- slated for this summer.   I plan to take full advantage of the trail/mountain running here in Europe and this blog is the perfect forum to chronicle my observations and experiences. 

Vienna is a beautiful city and amazingly well-suited for cyclists and runners:  there are bike paths everywhere and sidewalks a plenty so running in the city isn't too unbearable, especially since the city itself is quite scenic.  As for the trail running, however, I have to venture out to the "Vienna Woods" -- the wooded area surrounding the city.  Fortunately, these woods feature well-marked trails and are relatively close to the city center (accessible via a 20-30 minute street tram ride or, obviously, by car).  The area I'm referring to is highlighted in the upper left corner of the picture.  Although these bona fide trails aren't nearly as close and accessible as the trails I used to run in Washington, DC (Rock Creek Park), I'm still psyched to run them and suspect I'll have them mapped out sooner than later.